Top 5 Fun Things To Do Before School Starts In Connecticut

August 24, 2012 8:00 AM

Building sandcastles at the beach
Connecticut offers so much for families in the summertime. Outdoor venues, beaches, markets, fairs, farms and parks promise perfect sun-soaked memories in those waning days before school starts. Get out of the house, escape the cries of “I’m bored!” and head to the best places to visit before the school year kicks off.

Ellington Farmers Market

Main Street, next to the Ellington Fire Department
Ellington, CT 06029

Don’t miss out on Ellington Farmers Market for a fun family stop on a Saturday morning. Enjoy coffee and baked goods while walking around the market and enjoying live, local entertainment. The market also features fresh produce, cheese, breads, meat and fish. Children may pet farm animals and celebrate special events such as Heirloom Tomato Day, Salsa and Mushroom Day, and an Apple Festival in the fall. Click here for a full schedule of events.

A day at Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach Park
98 Neptune Ave.
New London, CT 06320
(860) 447-3031
(800) 510-7263

Click here for prices

The main attraction at Ocean Beach Park is definitely the beach itself, with half a mile of sandy shores to enjoy. This is the perfect place to spend the day, build a sandcastle, swim in the ocean or relax. For those who want more to do, explore the boardwalk opposite the beach where you’ll find playground, nature trail, pool and new spray park for children younger than 8 years old. Amusement rides, miniature golf and an arcade are also available; so there is definitely something for the whole family at Ocean Beach Park.

Mystic Seaport
75 Greenmanville Ave.
Mystic, CT  06355
(860) 572-0711

Click here for prices

Take a day trip to Mystic Seaport to see maritime history first-hand. Families may climb aboard tall ships and explore exhilarating shipyard exhibits at this exciting area adventure. Enjoy the playscapes, a children’s museum and toy boat-building activities. During the summer, interactive demonstrations and performances bring the seaport to life. The special summer schedule includes children’s activities such as candle-dipping, 19th-century baseball and navigation quest, which encourages kids to search the museum using nautical navigational tools.

Woodstock Fair
281 Route 169
Woodstock, CT 06281
(860) 928-3246

Price: $12 adults/free children 10 and younger

Everything that you would expect from a New England fair awaits on the 50-acre fairgrounds in Woodstock. In its 152nd year, this landmark fair celebrates the diversity of agriculture with its livestock, produce and demonstrations. Visit with animals, ride amusement rides on the midway and check out agricultural exhibits. Parents and children may participate in and watch all sorts of fun events including three-legged racing, chocolate cream pie eating, tractor pulling, and arts and crafts.

Related:Best Day Trips for Families Around Hartford

Union School Farmers Market
771 Main St.
South Windsor, CT 06074

The Union School Farmers Market sits on picturesque Old Main Street in South Windsor. It offers fresh seasonal produce and locally produced foods, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, maple syrup and baked goods. The market also features products sold by Connecticut artisans, such as soaps and candles. This is a great family stop to make on a Sunday morning drive if you can’t make it to the Saturday farmers’ market.


Laura Eldredge is an early childhood teacher and business women in the field of childhood education. As a freelance writer, Laura covers all things family and children in Connecticut.

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